Sunday, November 8, 2009

Father Coughlin at His Pulpit

Vaccines are always a lightning rod for populist lunacy, but here's a non-science fiction take:

NEW YORK — Some of New York's biggest companies, including Wall Street giants Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, received doses of swine flu vaccine for at-risk employees, drawing criticism that the hard-to-find vaccine is going first to the privileged.


"Vaccines should go to people who need them most, not people who happen to work on Wall Street," Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut said Thursday.

"Wall Street banks have already taken so much from us. They've taken trillions of our tax dollars. They've taken away people's homes who are struggling to pay the bills," union official John VanDeventer wrote on the Web site of the 2 million-member Service Employees International Union. "But they should not be allowed to take away our health and well-being."

Dodd and the union official are making hay out of this. Vaccines going to Wall Street firms doesn't translate to vaccines being taken away from more eligible people to give to executives. Everyday schmoes at these companies -- admin services people, IT drones, mail room employees -- will receive the vaccines, and they are no more or less deserving than a guy in Local 32BJ. The vaccine shipments are vanishingly small, and they're going to these companies -- as well as non-Wall Street companies, and "Hospitals, universities and the Federal Reserve Bank" -- because they have medical staff. Finally, they are given first, and often only, to high-risk employees, like pregnant women and old people.


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